From DaMing to Maynooth …

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Where there is consecration, there is joy!

Greetings from Liwei, who is a toddler on the way of following Jesus. I am delighted to share my vocation story with everyone. To my mind, each consecrated person has a unique vocation story: everybody is a special one in the sight of the Lord. Reflecting seriously on what has happened to me during my vocation experience, I must say I feel indebted to God for his fatherly, miraculous guidance. I also owe a lot to those who have helped me with such good will to discover God. If I only had one word in which to express my gratitude, that would be Thanks.

I always had a dream of being a priest. I still remember vividly that I always wanted to be a priest when I was a little boy. After coming back from Mass with my family, I dressed in a sheet as a chasuble and asked my brother to be my server. I pretended to be a priest: how silly I was! I recall the happy moment when my father led me to ask our parish priest Fr Yue for a reference letter to go to the Sacred Heart minor seminary located in County DaMing, China. DaMing has a long, rich history as a county. I spent six years there finishing my secondary and high schooling, which included a lot of basic knowledge about Catholicism. My time in study and formation in the minor seminary means a lot to me. A new world could be seen through the minor seminary.

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As a teenager, I did a lot of thinking. Sometimes I waivered in my mind about whether to be a priest or not, so before entering the major seminary, I decided to work for a while in ordinary society. I went out from the ‘ivory tower’ and worked as a constructor, a waiter, a cook and so on, which all made me become more considerate towards others. I came across many people. I gained happiness, I gained suffering. After these experiences, deep down inside I knew I still wanted to be a consecrated person.

By Divine Providence, in 2012, I first encountered our community in Beijing. I can’t forget the very first conversation with the formator, Fr Wen. After that I felt I had found my precious treasure, and that I should strive to keep it with my whole heart. In the same year, there was another student and he and I became candidates of the SVD. After two years, we entered the novitiate.

The period of time as a postulant and in the novitiate was one of the happiest times in my life. I have always been grateful to our community, particularly to my masters of the postulants and of the novitiate. The international character of our Society is one of its charisms, so after professing my first vows in China, and after careful consideration, I applied to come to the IBP province to continue my formation.

Thankfully, here I am. I have been in Ireland for nearly two years and am currently studying theology in the first grade. I truly appreciate having this golden chance to be formed for my vocation in the IBP. While living with our community, l have learned a lot, and thank them for their fraternal understanding and support. The brotherhood I experience in the IBP community will be engraved on my mind: I really cannot thank them enough. What else can I do but thank God in gratitude with joy?

Both my life and my vocation aim at constant growth and maturity, I always pray God that I may have enough grace to complete this task, so I can worthily prepare for his service. May the Lord lead me continually as always.

Liwei

 

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